It felt pretty good over the weekend to just dump normal life on the curbside and head off to a music festival. Festivals create the perfect bubble away from normality.
Our little family bubble just kept smiling.
Our entry back into the real world was fueled by pastries and coffees at a fabulous roadside bakery and farmshop/ store at Bridport. Following our dawn swim at Lulworth Cove, some munching was essential.
The welcome home from the fluffs, Hugo and Lola,was loud and excitable. They did not cover themselves in glory during their weekend away with friends. Terrorising chickens and leaving muddy paw prints on the top of an Aga is not advisable if you ever want to be invited back. Fortunately baked goods, from our stop off on the way home, may just about have bought them a pardon.
The fluffs seem blissfully unaware there was even a problem.
Out with a bang, festival over our van was all packed up and ready to go as the fireworks fizzed and twinkled overhead. Just a few hours sleep before we made a swift departure, before dawn, in order to get an early morning swim at Lulworth Cove.
It was lovely to be somewhere quite so beautiful as nature stretched her sleepy limbs to start the day to a soundscape of birdsong.
I love this image from a set yesterday. The colours give it the quality of an Old Master. Yesterday the fickle Covid fairy had once again been looking over my shoulder to see which acts I had ticked on my festival running list. And Ping! Just like that some of my selected acts were zapped by the test and trace app and unable to perform.
My location at the main stage last night pretty much sums up the weekend. We use What3words to relocate one another after the inevitable trips to the festival loos or food and drink consessions.
Offstage- self explanatory really, our chosen acts were off for Covid safety reasons.
Modifies- there is always something else at a festival. Yesterdays unplanned events included Joe Marler talking rugby and mens mental health and Steve Davis and Kavus Torabi talking Medical Grade Music. Which in turn led us to the Bollywood Stage at Camp Bestival just after midnight where we danced and had the surreal experience of watching drunk men mime a snooker match on a picnic blanket.
Sleep- an essential of Festival life.
Just like attending last Saturdays gorgeous wedding, this weeks festival has had us mingling with strangers, this time at a festival. Listening to people talk with real emotion when they describe their joy at our slow re-emergence into a more normal way of life and yet always reflecting on the losses and sadnesses that we have all experienced, appears to have given me my own version of Long Covid. My emotional carapace is not so tough. My eyes don’t normally ooze at weddings and certainly not at festivals. Every time someone makes a heartfelt soliloquy my newly sensitised and accesible soul makes my eyes sting and my heart feel a little sad. Just like Long Covid, I fear my sensitised carapace may be with me for some time.
Mindful of this feeling I tried to create an image of barely there festival goers to represent the millions for whom mingling with strangers is no longer an option at any venue at the festival of life.
Storm Evert and Covid are shaping this festival. Safety checks following the battering of overnight winds and the continuing winds determine when and if certain things can go ahead
The failure of lateral flow tests and family members with covid affect which bands and entertainers are able to put in an actual performance.
Festivals are not just about the planned events they are also about creating a fertile and fecund space for serendipity to capture the imagination. The next two pictures occured at a Bowie DJ set. The first is a piece of transient floor art. Twinkle from someones festival outfit landed on the floor near a crushed beer can. Momentarily looking like an embelished spume of excressence. Only to be kicked apart moments later.
The second is a moment of musical joy when a bloke on a windbag sofa lost himself in a moment of Bowie nostalgia.
A day of seeing and appreciating the unexpected because Covid still disrupts our lives and expectations.
I’m not entirely sure how this Lion is looking this morning. Overnight both him and us have been blown on by Storm Evert. Gusting winds of up to 68 miles an hour. The canvas roof of our pop top flexing and groaning all night.
The carosel creatures will have fared much better with their painted quiffs and cockscombs.
In contrast to the storm our arrival here was positively pastoral.
Queueing in gently wooded areas with stern road signs.
There was no sudden gunfire which is reassuring for the journey home. So far there have been no musical revelations. Just literary ones, a drag queen reading a bed time story utterly upstaged by a twerking 4 year old boy who artfully pulled on his shorts to enhance the appearance of his tiny buttocks. This being quite a middle class sort of festival I’m fairly certain we witnessed the efficacy of the Montessori Twerking Course, involving him in daily activities to promote and encourage his development.
“Play is the twerk of the child’ Maria Montessori.
Sitting in the front row also gave us eye watering detail of the ‘ packing’ required when a big chap in a short skirt performs in drag. A lot of Spandex.
None of this quite what we anticipated in the literary tent. Something, however, to spice up the next Book Club gathering. Here we are being literary. Still no sign of the pink cardigan!